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Extraction of Rice Bran Oil and Its Application in Producing Biodiesel

Karthik K V, Deepa H A, Priya S, Sathya T


Increased environmental awareness and depletion of resources are driving industry to develop viable alternative fuels from renewable resources that are environmentally more acceptable. Vegetable oil is a potential alternative fuel. The most detrimental properties of vegetable oils are its high viscosity and low volatility and these cause several problems during their long duration usage in compression ignition (CI) engines. The most commonly used method to make vegetable oil suitable for use in CI engines is to convert it into biodiesel, i.e. vegetable oil esters using process of transesterification. Rice bran oil obtained from rice bran which contains 12% oil is an underutilized non-edible vegetable oil, which is available in large quantities in rice cultivating countries, and very little research has been done to utilize this oil as a replacement for mineral Diesel. In the present work, the transesterification process for production of rice bran oil methyl ester has been investigated. Rice bran oil methyl ester thus produced was characterized to find its suitability to be used as a fuel in engines. Results showed that biodiesel obtained under the optimum conditions has comparable properties to substitute mineral Diesel, hence rice bran oil methyl ester biodiesel could be recommended as a mineral Diesel fuel substitute for compression ignition (CI) engines in transportation as well as in the agriculture sector. The yield of rice bran oil ester is around 87% which can be increased to 98% using two stage transesterification processes.

Keywords: Rice bran oil, Biodiesel, Transesterification

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